Aronia xprunifolia (Marshall) Rehder (syn.: A. atropurpurea Britton, A. floribunda (Lindl.) Spach) (N-Am.) – A rare but locally naturalized escape from cultivation. Apparently first collected in 1841 but without further details (possibly a cultivated plant). Known since the 1950’s from the surroundings of Ekeren-Kapellen. Since the 1970’s also known from a heath in Wingene (nature reserve Gulke Putten) where it was initially planted, along with Amelanchier lamarckii. Also present in parts of Limburg (comm. R. Barendse) but much rarer than sometimes assumed (Verloove 2002; compare also with Wiegers 1984 for the Netherlands). Probably absent from Wallonia.
Aronia xprunifolia is confined to sandy, slightly acidic soils, often heaths and clearings in woodland. It was formerly locally mass-planted in natural or nature-like habitats and started to escape in the surroundings of such plantations (mainly dispersed by birds).
The taxonomic position and origin of Aronia xprunifolia were controversial for a long time. Most authors suggested a hybrid origin and this was recently confirmed by Brand (2009).
Brand M. (2009) Aronia: native shrubs with untapped potential. Arnoldia 67(3): 14-25. [available online at: http://arnoldia.arboretum.harvard.edu/pdf/articles/2010-67-3-aronia-native-shrubs-with-untapped-potential.pdf
Celka Z. & Szkudlarz P. (2010) Spontaneous occurrence and dispersion of Aronia xprunifolia (Marshall) Rehder (Rosaceae) in Poland on the example of the “Bagna” bog complex near Chlebowo (western Poland). Acta Soc. Bot. Polon. 79(1): 37-42.
Verloove F. (2002) Ingeburgerde plantensoorten in Vlaanderen. Mededeling van het Instituut voor Natuurbehoud n° 20: 227 p.
Wiegers J. (1984) Aronia Medik. in the Netherlands. II. Ecology of Aronia x prunifolia (Marsh.) Rehd. in the Dutch Haf Distrcit. Acta Bot. Neerl. 33(3): 307-322.